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Oft-times its leaves of scarlet hue

A golden edging boast;
And, opened, it displays to view

Twelve pages at the most.
Nor name, nor title, stamped behind,

Adorns its outer part;
But all within 'tis richly lined,

A magazine of art.
The whitest hands that secret hoard

Oft visit; and the fair
Preserve it in their bosoms stored,

As with a miser's care.
Thence implements of every size,

And formed for various use,
(They need but to consult their eyes,

They readily produce.
The largest and the longest kind

Possess the foremost page,
A sort most needed by the blind,

Or nearly such from age.
The full-charged leaf, which next ensues,

Presents in bright array
The smaller sort, which matrons use,

Not quite so blind as they.
The third, the fourth, the fifth supply

What their occasions ask
Who with a more discerning eye

Perform a nicer task.
But still with regular decrease

From size to size they fall,
In every leaf grow less and less;

The last are least of all.
Oh! what a fund of genius, pent

In narrow space, is here!
This volume's method and intent

How luminous and clear !

It leaves no reader at a loss

Or posed, whoever reads :
No commentator's tedious gloss

Nor even index needs.

Search Bodley's many thousands o'er !

No book is treasured there,
Nor yet in Granta's numerous store,

That may with this compare.
No !-rival none in either host

Of this was ever seen,
Or that contents could justly boast

So brilliant and so keen.

AN ENIGMA

A NEEDLE, small as small can be,
In bulk and use surpasses me,

Nor is my purchase dear;
For little, and almost for nought,
As many of my kind are bought

As days are in the year.
Yet though but little use we boast,
And are procured at little cost,

The labour is not light;
Nor few artificers it asks,
All skilful in their several tasks,

To fashion us aright.
One fuses metal o'er the fire,
A second draws it into wire,

The shears another plies
Who clips in lengths the brazen thread
For him who, chafing every shred,

Gives all an equal size.
A fifth prepares, exact and round,
The knob with which it must be crowned ;

His follower makes it fast:
And with his mallet and his file
To shape the point, employs awhile

The seventh and the last.
Now therefore, Edipus ! declare
What creature, wonderful and rare,

A process that obtains
Its purpose with so much ado
At last produces tell me true,

And take me for your pains !

SPARROWS Self-DOMESTICATED

IN TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE

None ever shared the social feast,
Or as an inmate or a guest,
Beneath the celebrated dome
Where once Sir Isaac had his home,
Who saw not (and with some delight
Perhaps he viewed the novel sight)
How numerous at the tables there
The sparrows beg their daily fare.
For there, in every nook and cell
Where such a family may dwell,
Sure as the vernal season comes

Their nests they weave in hope of crumbs
Which kindly given may serve with food
Convenient their unfeathered brood;
And oft as with its summons clear
The warning bell salutes their ear,
Sagacious listeners to the sound,
They flock from all the fields around,
To reach the hospitable hall,
None more attentive to the call.
Arrived, the pensionary band,
Hopping and chirping, close at hand,
Solicit what they soon receive,
The sprinkled, plenteous donative.
Thus is a multitude, though large,
Supported at a trivial charge ;
A single doit would overpay
The expenditure of every day,
And who can grudge so small a grace
To suppliants, natives of the place?

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But strife ensues. Puss waxes warm,

And with protruded claws
Ploughs all the length of Lydia's arm,
Mere wantonness the cause.

At once, resentful of the deed,

She shakes her to the ground,
With many a threat that she shall bleed

With still a deeper wound.

But, Lydia, bid thy fury rest;

It was a venial stroke:
For she that will with kittens jest

Should bear a kitten's joke.

INVITATION TO THE REDBREAST

Sweet bird, whom the Winter constrains

And seldom another it can
To seek a retreat while he reigns

In the well-sheltered dwellings of man, Who never can seem to intrude,

Though in all places equally free, Come ! oft as the season is rude,

Thou art sure to be welcome to me.

At sight of the first feeble ray

That pierces the clouds of the east, To inveigle thee every day

My windows shall show thee a feast : For, taught by experience, I know

Thee mindful of benefit long, And that, thankful for all I bestow,

Thou wilt pay me with many a song

Then soon as the swell of the buds

Bespeaks the renewal of Spring, Fly hence, if thou wilt, to the woods,

Or where it shall please thee to sing : And shouldst thou, compelled by a frost,

Come again to my window or door, Doubt not an affectionate host,

Only pay as thou payedst me before.

Thus music must needs be confest

To flow from a fountain above;
Else how should it work in the breast

Unchangeable friendship and love ?
And who on the globe can be found,

Save your generation and ours,
That can be delighted by sound,

Or boasts any musical powers ?

Strada's NIGHTINGALE

The shepherd touched his reed; sweet Philomel

Essayed, and oft essayed to catch the strain,
And treasuring, as on her ear they fell,

The numbers, echoed note for note again.
The peevish youth, who ne'er had found before

A rival of his skill, indignant heard,
And soon (for various was his tuneful store)

In loftier tones defied the simple bird.
She dared the task, and rising, as he rose,

With all the force that passion gives inspired,
Returned the sounds awhile, but in the close.

Exhausted fell, and at his feet expired.
Thus strength, not skill, prevailed. O fatal strife,

By thee, poor songstress, playfully begun !
And oh, sad victory, which cost thy life,

And he may wish that he had never won.

ODE ON THE DEATH OF A LADY

WHO LIVED ONE HUNDRED YEARS, AND DIED ON HER BIRTHDAY, 1728

ANCIENT dame, how wide and vast,

To a race like ours, appears,
Rounded to an orb at last,

All thy multitude of years !
We, the herd of human kind,

Frailer and of feebler powers;
We, to narrow bounds confined,

Soon exhaust the sum of ours.

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